"When you work at a company, people leave and people join. We were up to almost two hundred people at one point and just mathematically you're going to have some turnover," Irrational Games president and creative director Ken Levine told Joystiq when asked how the studio's corporate culture changed after key members of its team had left.
Irrational's corporate culture really shifted, Levine said, when the studio expanded the team to tackle the scale of BioShock Infinite, the long-awaited follow-up to Irrational's 2007 critical and commercial hit BioShock.
"That's when things got a little complicated on the management side, because you have to develop structures we had never really developed before." Yet again, the mathematics of a video game project alter the way in which a team operates, Levine noted, saying that when a team is comprised of around 180 staffers, it becomes more complicated to keep a team's culture and vision while expanding structures to facilitate an expansive project and building the game itself.
"Everybody's got tasks," Levine said, clarifying that even as president of the company he is the studio's lead writer and is constantly writing material for the projects Irrational develops.
Adding Epic's former director of production Rod Fergusson to Irrational's impressive staff roster was an opportunity Levine said he had to explore immediately. "When you get a chance to hire and bring on board a guy like Rod Fergusson to work on BioShock Infinite, you're a fool if you don't do that."
"I learn from everybody," Levine said of his team at Irrational, "but Rod has just so much experience he really brought a lot to the table. I think he made it an even better game. Everything benefited from having him on board."
For more on BioShock Infinite – which was recently delayed to March 26 – make sure to read Joystiq's recent hands-on preview and watch the first part of our Ken Levine interview detailing the game's evolution.